Brandeis University suspends its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately
Brandeis University President Frederick Lawrence announced today that Brandeis has suspended its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately. Brandeis will re-evaluate the relationship as future events may warrant.
The decision stems from recent events at Al-Quds University, including a campus demonstration on Nov. 5 and a statement about the demonstration, which the president of Al-Quds University issued last night.
The Nov. 5 demonstration on the Al-Quds campus involved demonstrators wearing black military gear, armed with fake automatic weapons, and who marched while waving flags and raising the traditional Nazi salute. The demonstration took place in the main square of the Al-Quds campus, which was surrounded by banners depicting images of “martyred” suicide bombers.
Immediately after he received reports of the demonstration, President Lawrence contacted Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh and requested that he issue an unequivocal condemnation of the demonstrations. President Lawrence also requested that the condemnation be published in both Arabic and English.
Last night (Nov. 17), President Nusseibeh sent an email to President Lawrence with an English translation of a statement posted in Arabic on the Al-Quds web site.
Unfortunately, the Al-Quds statement is unacceptable and inflammatory. While Brandeis has an unwavering commitment to open dialogue on difficult issues, we are also obliged to recognize intolerance when we see it, and we cannot – and will not – turn a blind eye to intolerance. As a result, Brandeis is suspending its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately. We will reevaluate our relationship with Al-Quds based on future events.
The partnership with Al Quds University was initiated with the best of intentions for opening a dialogue and building a foundation for peace. Over the years, our partnership has been extremely productive in many respects, including student and faculty exchanges that have advanced the cause of peace and understanding.
Brandeis welcomes students of all faiths and nationalities and is home to students from more than 130 countries, including every country in the Middle East. We are proud of our deep roots in Middle Eastern studies as well as our internationally recognized programs in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies.
While recent events make it necessary for us to suspend our current relationship with Al-Quds, we will continue to advance the cause of peace and understanding on our campus and around the world.